Sundays at 10:15am South corner of 96th Street & Central Park West

Second Presbyterian Church

Seeking a Better World Together

June 2017

Author gbakoulis, Written May 28, 2017

June brings the end of the academic year and the start of summer. We have much to celebrate this month, some of it bittersweet. Always, we cherish times spent together in worship, fellowship, and reflection. We seek God and practice a welcoming faith in our community. We treasure our times together in God’s presence. Please join us as often as you can, and invite others to share in our fellowship.

We worship on Sundays at 10:15 a.m. in the Sanctuary, followed by Coffee Hour in the Carnegie Library. We invite all members and friends to join us in worship and fellowship.

Whether you are a longtime or new member, or are considering making Second Presbyterian your spiritual home, we hope you will find ways to engage with us. Please contact the church office at 212.663.6441 or speak to Pastor Leslie Merlin or a member if you have questions.

Worship Schedule

We worship on Sundays at 10:15 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Children leave for Sunday School at 10:30 a.m. with their teacher, Pamela Hahn. Please note that as is our custom, there will be no Sunday School in July and August.

All members of the congregation are encouraged to assist with worship as lector, beadle, greeter, and offering collector. Please see our Worship Coordinator for June, Neal Boswell, if you’d like to assist.

Sunday, June 4, Pentecost: Worship, 10:15 a.m. in the Sanctuary; Leslie Merlin, preaching, Alexei Tartakovski, musician. Holy Communion.

Sunday, June 11, Trinity Sunday: Worship, 10:15 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Our worship service will be led by the congregation, to call to mind Leslie’s legacy, in a format that combines the day’s lectionary readings, brief reflections, and lots of hymns. Kathryn Schneider will be our musician. Holy Communion.

Tuesday, June 13: Tuesday at Prayer, 11:30a.m. in the Sanctuary, followed by lunch.

Wednesday, June 14: Midweek Taizé evening service of song, silence, and prayer, 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Services are the second Wednesday of each month, and will resume in September.

Sunday, June 18: Worship, 10:15 a.m. in the Sanctuary, Leslie Merlin preaching.

Sunday, June 25: Worship, 10:15 a.m. in the Sanctuary, Leslie Merlin preaching. This will be Leslie’s last Sunday preaching and leading worship. As an additional treat, Paul Sanner, longtime former minister of music, will be our musician that day. Worship followed by catered luncheon in the Carnegie Library.

Holy Communion in 2017:

Sunday, January 8: Baptism of the Lord

Sunday, February 26: Transfiguration of the Lord

Wednesday, March 1: Ash Wednesday

Sunday, April 9: Palm Sunday

Thursday, April 13: Maundy Thursday

Friday, April 14: Good Friday

Sunday, June 4: Pentecost

Sunday, June 11: Trinity Sunday

Sunday, October 1: World Communion Sunday

Sunday, November 26: Reign of Christ


Choir Rehearsal: Wednesday, May 31, 7:30 p.m., Carnegie Library. Mary Thorne is leading the choir as we begin the search for a new Minister of Music.

Minister of Music Search Committee: Thursday, June 1, 3:00 p.m., Pastor’s Office/Sanctuary.

Session: Monday, June 12: 6:00 p.m., Head of School’s office.

Trustees: TBD.

Ongoing Pastoral Care: We will gather on Sunday, June 4, at 12:00 noon, to discuss ongoing pastoral care as we head into the coming months of transition. Leslie will share her thoughts and insights on ministering to those in need in our congregation. We also want to consider our own roles in ministering to each other, as our congregation has a great will to be loving; strong pastoral care and communication help us all support and pray for one another. Those inclined to develop skills that can provide active care may be interested in pursuing a program called Stephen Ministry, which assists churches in providing a system of lay caregiving. If you would like to participate please speak with Leslie or Elaine Song.


Empire Viols Concert, Friday, June 2: 8:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Suggested $10 donation at the door.

“Jonah” the Musical, Friday, June 9, 8:45 a.m. in the Carnegie Library. Alexander Robertson School students present an original musical by Leslie Merlin and Paul Sanner, produced in association with ARS teachers Nicole DeVault (Art/French/Ethics) and Kathy Hart (Music).

Catered Luncheon to Commemorate Leslie Merlin’s final Sunday Worship: Sunday, June 25, in the Carnegie Library following worship.

After Labor Day, on a September date TBA, we’ll have an evening event in the neighborhood for members of the larger community of church, school, and clergy friends who have been touched by Leslie.

Summer Preaching 

Arranging for your summer smorgasbord of worship experiences has always been exciting. Our congregation offers a remarkable amount of thoughtful preaching and musical resource. This summer will be especially interesting. The plan is to fill your plates with the best of what there is, looking toward potential matches, in terms of the Temporary and then the Interim Pastor. We are well on our way to filling the roster for July and August.

Search for New Pastor/Preparing for the Transition

The process of calling a pastor to lead our flock after Leslie retires has begun, and it will occur in several stages. The Session plans for the temporary pastor to begin serving on September 1, Leslie’s last official day, until we find an interim pastor. It would likely mean serving for an estimated 4-6 month period. A few candidates have expressed interest in exploring the possibility. As part of the process of making a selection, the candidates may preach during the summer.

The same group of officers preparing materials for the Temporary and Interim Pastor job descriptions will start meeting informally with the candidates for the “temp” position over the next month. They are: Nancy Hughes, Elaine Song and Maxine Soares.  Let’s pray that a wonderful pastor hears God’s call to join us in September! The next stage will be formation of an Interim Pastor Search Committee. Stay tuned for updates.

Preparing for Farewell

Twenty years have passed since Leslie Merlin walked through our doors. To mark Leslie’s last month preaching here, June will be a month of sharing and celebration.

Here are critical dates and moments to keep in mind.

The service will be followed by a regular coffee hour.

Sunday, June 25th will be Leslie’s last Sunday preaching and leading worship, As an additional treat, Paul Sanner, longtime former minister of music, will be our musician that day. After the service, we will have a catered, buffet luncheon (not potluck) in the Carnegie Library.

After Labor Day, on a September date TBA, we’ll have an evening event in the neighborhood for members of the larger community of church, school, and clergy friends, who have been touched by Leslie.

Please share these dates with those near and far. See you there and then!

The Music Search Committee is going all-out to have our new Minister of Music in place ASAP…stay tuned for that announcement.

Community Service/Giving

Visits to Bedford Hills Prison: Our desire to be of comfort in a world of pain leads us into prison, a place of sorrow and despair. We have partnered with Gethsemane Presbyterian Church on its visits to women in Bedford Hills Prison and Taconic Prison. The women we visit are participants in Gethsemane Church’s “Project Connect”, as they work to develop a life of spiritual health. The visits remaining in 2017 have been scheduled:

Saturday, June 17

Saturday, September 16

Saturday, December 2